Friday, February 25, 2011

Standing in the Gap: Malaria Intervention

Spread the word.  Donate.  Pray.  A treatable disease should not be killing 1 million people every year.  Poverty should not be a child's death sentence.

My friend Katie and I decided to create a separate fund under her organization Amazima Ministries (   You can click this link and donate through PayPal.   Amazima is a 501(c)3, Non-profit based here in Jinja.  This fund will be used for the sole purpose of intervening in the lives of children who have malaria, but can not afford treatment. Instead of children being refused treatment, we will be contacted and we will pay for their medical expenses.  We will be working with Al-Shafa, and the Children’s Hospital here in Jinja.  Both of these hospitals are frequented by children in these situations.

Last week we met with the receptionists at both hospitals.  We gave them our contact information.  There was a look of relief, as the one woman told us, “There are so many children who come and we can not treat.  The money is not there”.  By donating, you will be saving the lives of children who otherwise would have been turned away.

If you would like to donate, click the link above and in the "memo" section please write, “Malaria Intervention”. 


Checks can be made out to Amazima Ministries and mailed to:

Amazima Ministries International
P.O Box 415000
Nashville, TN 37241-0770

Why are we creating this fund, and why now?

I wrote this down two weeks ago:

I watched a little girl die today. She died from the same disease I was treated for, in the same hospital I received medicine and made a full recovery in.  She died because her Grandmother did not have money to have her admitted and treated for the Malaria. She was turned away from a hospital that could have saved her life because her family didn’t have the equivalent of 10USD. I jumped out of the car.  I rushed into the hospital, as the Grandmother held the little girl close to her chest, wrapped in a blanket.  My friend translated and let the Grandmother know that I would pay for ANY necessary medical costs.  We entered into the crowded waiting room, making our way to the front desk.  The Grandmother entered into an intake room with the little girl, and I informed the receptionist that I would pay any medical bills necessary to help treat this little girl.  As I walked back and forth in between the desk and the room where the little girl lay covered on her Grandmother’s shoulder, I saw her two little brown eyes begin to fade.  I assured myself that she would be okay.  She was going to be admitted and begin treatment so soon.  A few moments later, I hear the words, “The child has died, there is nothing more we can do”.  I pleaded with the doctors, “Please there has to be something you can do.  Try to help her, please”.  I see the Grandmother stand up still holding her Granddaughter’s lifeless body tightly against her chest.  The blank look on her face as she looked at me.  I had no words.  All I could get out was a quiet, “I’m so sorry”.

We walked back out to the car and with silent tears, I cried out to God.  The only thing stopping this little girl from receiving treatment was money. Why?  And God quietly asked me, "What are you going to do about it?"  I know that God had the power to heal that little girl today, but for some reason He chose not to.  I also know that He calls us to be His hands and feet.  To be a voice for the voiceless.  To defend the poor.  I am rejoicing in the fact that this little girl is no longer suffering.  I am praising Him that she is in heaven right now sitting with Jesus, free from the terrible pain this disease put her tiny body through.

After today, we are in the process of setting up an account that will be used for the sole purpose of situations like these.  We will meet with the staff of the local hospital where this little girl died today.  We will explain the brokenness we feel for families and children who find themselves at this place.  We will leave them with our cell phone numbers.  The second a child comes in who so desperately needs immediate medical intervention, they can begin treatment and call us to come and pay the medical bill for those who do not have the money to do so.

The World Health Organization says that Malaria kills a child in Sub-Saharan Africa every 45 seconds.  Today that is no longer a statistic.  It is a little girl with a Grandmother who so desperately wanted to get treatment for her but didn’t have the money to do so.


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